Battle of Raszyn (1809)
Infobox Military Conflict
conflict=Battle of Raszyn
Cyprian Godebskiin the Battle of Raszyn"
1855 painting by
oil on canvas,
National Museum in Warsaw
Polish-Austrian War, itself part of the War of the Fifth Coalition
April 19, 1809
Raszyn, present-day Poland
Duchy of Warsaw
casualties2=1,390 total:450 killed
40 capturedThe first Battle of Raszyn was fought on
April 19, 1809between armies of the Austrian Empireand the Duchy of Warsawas a part of the War of the Fifth Coalitionin the Napoleonic Wars. The Austrian army was defeated.
armyunder the Archduke Ferdinand Karl Joseph of Austria-Esteinvaded the Duchy of Warsawin April, 1809. Polish troops under Prince Józef Antoni Poniatowskiwithstood the Austrian attack on Warsawdefeating them at Radzyminand reconquered parts of former Poland including Krakówand Lwówby beating the Austrians at near the villages of Góra and Grochów. General Józef Antoni Poniatowskiwas presented grand-aigle de la Légion d'Honneur, a saber of honour and a lancer's shako for this victory.
The battlefield’s terrain is dominated by several villages and by the river
Utrata, which during April in unfordable. The only way to cross the river is at the ponds of Raszyn, Dawidy or Michalowice, which were all under Polish control.
After a preparatory cannonade started at 14.00, the Austrian infantry attacked around 15.00 the Polish screening forces. The Poles gradually yielded terrain to the attacker. Austrian attempts to outflank the Polish position near Jaworowo were without success. After the village of Falenty was captured at 16.00 Poniatowski launched a counterattack which evicted the Austrians from the town and re-establishing the Polish line. Around 17.00 a combined attack was launched against Raszyn. Repulsed by the Saxon units, the Austrians called up reinforcements and took the town around 19.00 but where unable to progress beyond the last houses of the village. The Poles again counterattacked at 21.00 and drove the Austrians from Raszyn but were unable to recapture the causeway. Fighting progressed until 22.00 when the Poles evacuated the battlefield.
After the battle
After the Austrian army withdrew to the other side of the swamps, prince
Józef Poniatowskiordered his forces to withdraw towards Warsaw. However, since the city fortifications were in a very bad shape and the Saxon expeditionary force withdrew towards their homeland, Poniatowski decided to leave Warsaw undefended and withdraw to several fortresses located nearby (most notably to Modlin Fortressand Serock). The capital was seized with little opposition, but it was a Pyrrhic victorysince the Austrian commander diverted most of his forces there at the expense of other fronts. In the following weeks Greater Polandwas defended by the Corps of General Henryk Dąbrowski and the Polish cavalryseized Lwów. Finally, Poniatowski left only a small force near Warsaw to prevent the Austrians from leaving it and moved the rest of his forces southwards, which led to capturing the city of Kraków.
October 14, 1809, the Treaty of Schönbrunnwas signed between Austriaand France. According to it, the former state lost approximately 50 000 square kilometres of land inhabitated by over 1 900 000 people. The territories annexed by the Duchy of Warsawincluded the lands of Zamośćand Kraków as well as 50% of income of the Wieliczkasalt mines.
* [http://napoleonistyka.atspace.com/Raszyn_battle.htm The Battle of Raszyn, 1809]
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